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    Karimganj Teacher Makes ‘Hijab’ Compulsory For Girls In School; Apologises After Backlash

    AB Hanan wrote on Facebook that 'to protect the students from evil eyes', he had made compulsory wearing ‘hijab’ for all the girl students

    Controversy sparked after a senior teacher of a private school in Assam’s Karimganj district made it compulsory for all girl students to wear ‘hijab’ to protect them from ‘evil eyes’.

    AB Hannan, a senior teacher in East Point Public School in Kanishail, posted a photo on Facebook on September 14th, 2019 of several girl students wearing ‘hijab’, the headcover worn in public by some Muslim women, over their uniform.

    He captioned the photo in English and Bengali stating that ‘to protect the students from evil eyes’, he had made compulsory wearing ‘hijab’ for all the girl students.

    “To protect my students from evil eyes and as a part of the best personality of girls today I made compulsory wearing Hijab for all my girl students at East Point Public School, Karimganj (sic),” Hanan wrote on Facebook. The post went viral within no time. While many commented that it was a good step, others vehemently opposed.

    A snapshot of the Facebook post which AB Hanan deleted after facing severe criticism

    The school administration too didn’t support Hannan’s move. “Wearing ‘hijab’ is not compulsory. It is their choice whether they want to wear it or not,” Rupan Choudhury, a member of the management committee. Hanan also faced backlash from the netizens.

    On September 15th, 2019, the teacher apologised on Facebook and deleted his first post. “My post on ‘hijab’ has hurt feelings of many. Since the school authorities also didn’t give a go-ahead for the move, wearing of ‘hijab’ has been made voluntary. I have deleted my earlier post and apologise to all for hurting their feelings unconsciously. Jai Hind (sic),” he wrote.

    The East Point Public School is accredited with the Board of Secondary Education Assam (SEBA) and is open for students irrespective of religious backgrounds.

    Photo: Soumyajit Purkayastha

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